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Financial management

We continue to maintain a strong focus on financial management, ensuring resources are utilised in the most efficient and effective manner to deliver the greatest benefit and impact for the Australian community.

Our financial results for 2020–21 are outlined in the Agency Resource Statement. The operating loss for 2020–21 was $0.241 million and includes a depreciation expense of $15.421 million, which is not funded by government appropriations.

We maintained sufficient cash through the year to fund our operations. There are adequate funds held in the Official Public Account as undrawn appropriations, which will be used to pay employee entitlements and other liabilities as and when they fall due.

In 2020–21, we reported no significant non-compliance with finance law.

Purchaser–provider arrangements

During 2020–21, we purchased IT services and a number of other administrative functions on a fee-for-service basis through a longstanding arrangement with the Technology Services Division within the Department of Education, Skills and Employment under a Memorandum of Understanding. The management of enterprise resource planning services was provided to the Entity on a fee-forservice basis under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Service Delivery Office within the Department of Finance.

Procurement initiatives to support small and medium enterprises

We support small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market by:

  • reducing tendering burden through use of the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements under $200,000
  • adhering to the Commonwealth’s 20-day payment policy
  • engaging with small business organisations to increase understanding of each other’s offerings and needs
  • using credit cards to facilitate on-time payments.

Small and medium enterprises (SME) and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance website (www.finance.gov.au).

We recognise the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury website.

Procurement to support Indigenous enterprises

The Commonwealth Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) commenced on 1 July 2015. We amended our procurement policy and practices to meet the new requirements.

A total of 22 contracts were awarded to Indigenous suppliers during the year, totalling $398,803 (GST inclusive).

Reportable consultancy contracts

We engage consultants if we need specialist expertise or independent research, reviews or assessments to support our decision-making. Providers are selected through open tender, pre-qualified tenders, limited tender or an established panel arrangement.

The decision to engage a consultant is made in accordance with the PGPA Act and related regulations, including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and internal policies.

During 2020–21, 7 new reportable consultancy contracts were entered into, incurring actual expenditure of $307,018 (including GST). In addition, 6 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the reporting period, incurring actual expenditure of $87,089.

Table 33: Consultancy contract spending


Expenditure (GST inc.)

New contracts entered into during the reporting period



Ongoing contracts entered into during a previous reporting period






Reportable non-consultancy contracts

During 2020–21, 167 new reportable non-consultancy contracts were entered into, incurring total expenditure of $10,398,194 (including GST). In addition, 139 ongoing non-consultancy contracts were active during the reporting period, incurring a total expenditure of $29,422,678.

Table 34: Non-consultancy contract spending


Expenditure (GST inc.)

New contracts entered into during the reporting period



Ongoing contracts entered into during a previous reporting period






Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure of reportable consultancy and non-consultancy contracts. Information on the value of consultancies and non-consultancy contracts is available on the AusTender website.

There were no requests for exemption or exemptions given from publishing a contract on AusTender. All our contracts allow for the Auditor-General to access the contractor’s premises.


During 2020–21, the Entity continued to administer the 2017–20 round of the Community Engagement Grants Program (CEGP) which concluded on 31 December 2020.

A further round of CEGP funding commenced on 1 January 2021, allocating funds over 4 years until 31 December 2024 to not-forprofit organisations that assist vulnerable workplace participants. Information on grants awarded under the CEGP is available at www.fairwork.gov.au.

Grants to 3 key employer and employee groups continued to be administered as part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are to enable the groups to boost their services and offer support and advice to employers and employees on their obligations and entitlements during the COVID-19 crisis.


Payments made to advertising organisations in 2020–21 totalled $755,833. Amounts paid to organisations that were less than $14,000 have not been included, consistent with the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

No advertising campaigns for which expenditure was greater than $250,000 were undertaken in 2020–21.

During 2020–21, the FWO conducted the following advertising campaigns:

  • Small Business Showcase and small business resources
  • Myth-busting videos
  • Record-keeping and pay slips online learning course
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources
  • Pay and Conditions Tool in-language
  • Franchise/small business videos
  • Return to the workplace
  • Horticulture supply chain
  • Sham contracting case studies
  • Visual piecework agreement
  • Fast food, restaurant and catering employees
  • Casual Employment Information Statement.

Further information on these advertising campaigns is available at fairwork.gov.au and in the reports on Australian Government advertising prepared by the Department of Finance. Those reports are available on the Department of Finance’s website.